April 2017 | Issue 29
Year 5: Readying students for practice

anna romito3 (Custom).jpg  By Dr Anna Romito, Curriculum Development Lead

My recent extended stay in Singapore was an excellent opportunity to work even more closely with our dedicated leads in shaping the forthcoming curriculum of Year 5.

A key focus of our work was to bring core, cross-year themes together in the final year. We have created a Year 5 curriculum that speaks to all the years before it and builds on the key vertical themes of the School’s pedagogy.

Through their elective and selective placements, students can embrace the theme of scientific enquiry and special study. With autonomous choice over both location and subject, students are able to structure their own enquiry to enrich their understanding of healthcare and its delivery.

On returning to the classroom, Year 5 students engage deeply with another vertical theme, Pharmacology. This is delivered via dedicated, classroom teaching on Safe Prescribing. The core concepts for safe prescribing build on students’ existing knowledge of pharmacology and provide the foundation for understanding prescribing practices that they will observe during their Student Assistantship Programme (SAP) at the end of the year.

The Professionalism, Ethics, Law, Leadership & Patient Safety (PELLS) vertical theme is both taught at designated points throughout the year and omnipresent in the Year 5 clinical curriculum. Closely aligned to the different phases of the year, including integrated care, the SAP and again in teaching at the very end of Year 5, the PELLS teaching and application exercises bring students ever closer to their responsibilities as practising clinicians.

Our fourth theme of Clinical Communication is similarly delivered. Specific classroom teaching sessions build on existing skills to develop greater dexterity in communication. Increasing proficiency is then matched to increasing opportunity in clinical placements, culminating in the SAP. Students’ skills in written communication are also developed to support the essential interdisciplinary correspondence expected of Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) doctors.

Last, but not least, is our vertical theme of Pathology. Students revisit familiar diseases in their rotations in medicine, surgery and family medicine. Re-exposure allows students to re-engage with the topics at a deeper level. Now familiar with how diseases present and why, students can apply their understanding of the disease process and pathophysiology to plan appropriate management strategies.

All of these vertical themes together both inform and enrich the Year 5 curriculum. This is a very exciting final year for students and faculty alike and we look forward to it starting!